So here we are again. Just six months after she arrived in post, Esther McVey is off, to be replaced by Chris Pincher, MP for Tamworth.
McVey made only a handful of forays into the world of estate agency including a speech about ‘high tech houses’, a proposed newtown, comments on tenancy length and revelations about the government’s rogue landlord list.
All that before she got the chop and was replaced by a respected but little-known Foreign Office minister with no track record in housing, Chris Pincher – who late last night tweeted his delight at getting the housing job (see below).
He is the tenth Tory housing minister in a row and the 19th over the past 21 years. But what does the industry think of yesterday’s political reshuffling?
Propertymark joint statement from NAEA/ARLA
Mark Hayward/David Cox
“We welcome Christopher Pincher as the new Housing Minister. Unfortunately, the lack of continuity in this post and the persistent changes means it’s near impossible for anyone in the role to make an impact.
“Fixing the broken housing market should be the priority, and there’s a number of consultations and policy that requires action – most importantly the Regulation of Property Agents.
“We look forward to working with the new Minister on these important changes to the industry.”
Nick Leeming, Chairman
“After less than a year in the post, Esther McVey is the latest housing minster to walk through No. 10’s revolving door.
“Although we welcome a new housing minister to the role, they will now be our 10th in 10 years, and for our industry to truly to gain momentum we need consistency and not this constant stop/start approach.
“Just a few weeks ago, we were celebrating having renewed confidence and optimism in the property market.
“Many of our branches experienced an uptick in applicants following the General Election, but for this buoyancy to continue we need robust policies with longevity which are geared around stimulating the housing market at all levels.
“We don’t believe this change will have a significant impact on buyer or vendor confidence.
In our survey of more than 1,100 consumers, almost 20% claimed not to know Esther McVey had even taken up the position of Housing Minister.”
Krystjan Byfield, Founder
Addressing McVey somewhat tongue-in-cheek, he said: “Thank you for [your] immense achievements during your long tenure as housing minister – you join a long and inspiring line of housing minister over the last 20 years who have been in the role so long and achieved so much.”
Alex Rose, Head of New Homes
“How do we ever expect a government to bring about real change to land, planning, skills, MMC, taxation and affordable housing when ministers only have 12 months to make an impact.
“I wish Christopher Pincher a long and impactful tenure but won’t hold my breath for major housing reform.”
Sean Hooker, Head of Redress
“Another Cabinet reshuffle another Housing Minister bites the dust. The resignation of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid has probably overshadowed this news, however a new Minister will need to get up to speed with the challenges faced by the sector.”
Market Financial Solutions
Paresh Raja, CEO
“First the appointment of a new housing minister, and now the resignation of Sajid Javid as Chancellor. This surely has to be the worst day so far in Boris Johnson’s short reign as prime minister.”